An affectionate farewell from one country music legend to another.
In the excellent documentary The Return of Tanya Tucker, which was the opening night attraction at the Nashville Film Festival last Thursday, Tanya Tucker repeatedly speaks lovingly of her longtime friend Loretta Lynn. Indeed, at one point in the movie, she is shown performing live for the first time in public a song from her Grammy-winning comeback album “While I’m Livin’” at a birthday celebration for her buddy.
When she received word Tuesday that Lynn had passed away, Tucker offered this heartfelt tribute:
“Today, my world changed, and it will never be the same again. My hero got her wings last night, and it’s been a day filled with tears. Many memories, so much gratitude and thanking my God above for blessing me first with her music and her guidance through the perils of the music world way before we ever met.
“I looked up to Loretta always. Then when we became friends, she brought me flowers always, and I brought flowers to her. Time has let me share many special moments with her, but now time has taken her from me forever! But she's left me with so much to remember and cling on to. I thank God above that I got to sing with her on her latest record. I’ve been waiting a long time for that to come to pass.
“I was busy planning a much-needed trip to Mexico when I got the news. But for now, Mexico will have to wait because my childhood hero Loretta Lynn has caught the train and she's 'On Her Way to Heaven.' Mexico will always be there, but my friend has gone on to glory. I will see her there someday! I miss you so Retti! I think you know how I feel! Your girl always. — Tanya Tucker.”
Photography: Derrek Kupish